JULIEN TRUCHAN (Benighted) – Be patient
JULIEN TRUCHAN is the big boss growler in the French brutal death metal act BENIGHTED. He began his vocal career after buying "Butchered to Death" by Cannibal Corpse by a mistake. He did not like the album and the vocals in the beginning, but fortunately, one can say, he began to show interest in extreme vocals and now today he has 15 years experience. Julien says here that it was Barney (Napalm Death) and Sven (Aborted), together with Chris Barnes, who has been his biggest inspirations. Read more about this talented French monster, here’s Julien Truchan from Benighted and his contributions to The Deepthroat Series.
When did you start doing extreme vocals (What year and at what age)?
I really start to sing in extreme style when I was 17 in 1996.
What made you start to do extreme vocals?
I bought by mistake the Cannibal Corpse album « Butchered at Birth » because I found the cover very cool and when I heard this kind of vocals at the first time, I really hated it! He he! But listening this album several times, trying to understand what was played really made me fall into the extreme metal addiction!
Can you describe the technique or the techniques you are using?
I have several ways to sing, the principal one is the growl and I use my throat a lot to make my voice really deep and « non-human ». My other vocals need more that I use my belly and chest as I scream in different styles. The position of my tongue inside my mouth is very important to make my growl more or less deep too.
Has your technique changed during your career?
Of course, and I always try to find some new ways to sing from an album to another, keeping the experience of my technics and pass from a voice to another in one second in our tracks. I can do inhaling or exhaling vocals, I think I can do at least 6 or 7 different voices in Benighted. And I use some new ones for the first time in some places of our new album « Asylum Cave »
Have you ever hurt yourself by using a "wrong technique"?
I only hurt myself when I don’t hear me well on stage as I’m forced to make uncontrolled stuff. It was never a problem with technique.
Is there something you do on a regular basis to keep your voice in shape? Any routines?
Apart from the rehearsal, I sing a lot alone in my car when I drive, I do that as soon as I can to train myself. I put some albums in the CD player and sing on it. It must be a bit weird for people crossing my road in the other way! He he!
Do you think it can be dangerous to do extreme vocals?
Of course as it requires lot of work and energy; you can deeply hurt your vocal-cords or make some kystes appear if you do it too much or wrong. I’m very careful with that.
What is most important for you – to make cool sounds and interesting rhythms, or to have a clear diction/pronunciation?
I would say the cool rythms for the efficiency of the vocals parts, as it still is very difficult to understand what is told in a death metal style! Even if it’s well articulated, most of time it’s cool to keep the booklet with the lyrics not too far!
Do you think that extreme vocals can be made into a science, like "this is how it works for everyone, to make this sound you have to do this etc"? Or is it more intuitive and individual how to do it?
I think some people can have this capability in a natural way where others will have to work to gain this. You can explain many things but it’s with time and work that you can do that. It’s easy to make a scream once, it’s another stuff to make it during one hour of concert.
Do you have any advice to people who wants to start doing extreme vocals?
Don’t try to make it too loud at the beginning and find your personal way to make it powerful without hurting yourself. Be patient and train several times in a week.
Mention three extreme vocalists whose style you admire, and explain your choice. What specifically do you like about the styles of those three? Also mention three vocalists (not necessarily extreme vocalists) which you have been influence by, and explain in which way you have been influenced by each of them.
Frank Mullen from Suffocation, this guy is an awesome vocalist and a great frontman who made his vocals evolve with the years always so powerful! Then I would say Mike Majewski from Devourment who appears as guest vocalist on our last album, his voice is unbelievable! When I received his vocals parts for our track, I was so impressed by the depth of his voice, he’s a real monster! And I would say in third Jagger from Disbelief, who sings more in a John Tardy style, but I find infinitely better!
For the vocalists who influenced me when I started I have to tell Chris Barnes as I discovered death metal with Cannibal Corpse, then Barney from Napalm Death, we feel very close to this band’s spirit and it’s always war on stage with Napalm! And finally I would say Sven from Aborted, great vocalist, great band, great music !!!
Who do you want to challenge in this series? (Who should be the next extreme vocalist to answer these questions?) Give a brief explanation for your choice.
I would be very interested to read the answers of Mike Majewski from Devourment! How he can develop so much poetry with his vocal organ! He he!